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J. Joy Matthews Alford - Sistah Joy

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· This Garden Called Life

· From Pain To Empowerment - The Fabric of My Being

· Lord I'm Dancin' As Fast As I Can

Short Stories
· My Extraordinary Early Voting Experience

· Give Them A Hand! - Celebrating Success

· Sistah Joy receives CAM Award for Best Host in Entertainment Category

· We Made It! (Celebrating National Poetry Month)

· My Extraordinary Early Voting Experience

· Give Them A Hand! - Celebrating Success

· Sistah Joy receives CAM Award for Best Host in Entertainment Category

· Celebrating National Poetry Month! - April 2011

· Honoring A King - Event Review

· AmericaSpeaks Profiles Poet Sistah Joy

· 2010 Expressions Talk Up, Not Down Teen Poetry Camp & Hip Hop Poetry Choir

· Poetry Between The Lines - Celebrating Teen Poets

· Big Fun at 2nd Annual Community Reading Party

· Envision Prince George's 21st Century Town Meeting

· Souls Seeking Light

· Spring?

· Coming Into Focus

· It's There

· I Remember

· After

· No Revolving Doors

· The Gift of Time

· I Proudly Wave The Flag

· A Thanksgiving Prayer Poem

         More poetry...
· Sistah Joy receives CAM Award for Best Host in Entertainment Category

· Sojourn With Words - National Poetry Month Special Feature

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  Train Ride To Hope
by J. Joy Matthews Alford - Sistah Joy
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent poems by J. Joy Matthews Alford - Sistah Joy
•  Souls Seeking Light
•  Spring?
•  I Stand Tall
•  Coming Into Focus
•  It's There
           >> View all 23

This poem relays my personal experience as one of the millions who went to the 2009 Inaugural.


Train Ride To Hope
by J. Joy "Sistah Joy" Matthews Alford

A 7:30 A.M. train ride

Inaugurated by a commemorative fare card

Bearing the likeness of a man

Who believed in hope and change

Maybe the time had come

For a nation whose yesterday

Spurned right at its own peril
A nation that, despite dreams and visions

Proclaimed before broad witness in light of day

Rejected truth 'til civil disarray

Dictated that only change could counter catastrophe

Perhaps this would be the train ride

To usher that nation

To the dawn of a new day


A sea of humanity

Like ants, satellite images would depict dots

Blurred into huddles to become muddled masses

I was proud to be one of the millions

Knowing I had neither ticket nor hope of

Seeing anything more than a jumbotron

I trudged on

Under the 3rd Street tunnel

Loosing, early in the day, Beverly and Jayne,

My comrades in arms

But I moved on

This is my hometown, I know this place

Placing phone calls of reassurance

When intermittent phone service allowed

I pressed on

Moving from one undesignated

Vantage point to another

Both the Blue Gate and

   the Silver Capital Viewing Area

Were inaccessible

But how could they close The Mall

…The entire Mall?



But my guardian angels were on it!

Like the pride, yearning and desperate belief

Of all who withstood the frigid cold

Even the batteries of Chicky’s hand-held

Neon orange radio knew not to fade

Sylvia’s ungloved hand must have been frozen,

As she held the small prize just above our heads

Standing behind me Jasmine asked if I could

Move just a bit to the side

So she too could hear

We each prayed for a clear signal

Sylvia said a glove would restrict digital dexterity

As she deftly rotated the dial with precision 

Not chancing to miss a single word

That would mark this moment in history

So it was to be

This anointed neon orange electronic device

Clearly appointed by Divine providence

To appear next to me

Whether held in Sylvia’s hand or God’s

Did the job of unseen jumbotrons   


The four of us fellowshipped and communed

We were from DC, Colorado and Texas

Sisters of different generations and races

Silently sharing tears as Aretha sang

Sharing hugs and hopes as we listened

To introductions, oaths and speeches

Believing the words we heard

On a small radio would take us

Beyond Metro stops, Malls and trains

Knowing that, on this day,

Hope had transported a people

To a place where they believed
That the time for change had come


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Reviewed by John Domino 3/28/2009
Divinely written!
Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 2/15/2009
E x c e l l e n t !!!
Reviewed by Larry Shavers 2/4/2009
This is a fine piece of writing. I would like to congratulate you "Train Ride to Hope" is a very good poem. Great elucidation!!! Your vivid description of the scene, the characters, the staging, captures the celebratory atmosphere of the day. Your literary devices and word pictures are very powerful and graphic. They precisely convey the feeling of solidarity and inclusion that seem to be paramount in the piece. One can feel the electricity, the passion and the excitement that did not seem to wane when it became obvious that a visual of the ceremony would not be available. Once again, your skillful depiction of the people and events is elegant and sophisticated; which is a very consistent and appealing characteristic of your writings. This is a very good piece of writing!!! Once again, great job.
Reviewed by Edwin Hurdle 2/2/2009
You are veyr lucky and bless to be at the inauguration.I saw it on television and seeing all those people were like seeing different flavors of ice cream in this big bowl of the human American spirit along the spoons of humanity and unity at its finest.It was a proud day for everyone.I enjoy reading this poem and I am glad that you experience history firsthand.take good care of yourself

Reviewed by J. Joy Matthews Alford - Sistah Joy 2/1/2009
I would love to hear from people who read this poem and would care to comment, perhaps reflecting on their personal 2009 Inauguration experience.

Books by
J. Joy Matthews Alford - Sistah Joy

Lord I'm Dancin' As Fast As I Can

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  2. abstraction on evergreen sojourn
  3. Absurd Valley
  4. The Dream Me
  5. The Dancer
  6. This Woman
  7. Women Are Women
  8. Standing Tall
  9. an aging man still searching...
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  11. A Poems Soul
  12. Modern Poets
  13. We Were Blessed
  14. When an Angel Leaves
  15. Your Ghost Came Calling
  16. What Will Be
  17. The Beauty Of Spring
  18. broken dreams
  19. The Freight Train
  20. Sundown in Thibodaux

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